Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Delhi Art Summit 2009

The art market is finally showing signs of picking up as galleries in Delhi have started their showcasings once again. In the month of July Galerie Art Eterne put a unique show of new art works of some of Delhi's best known names like Sanjay Bhattacharya, Devajyoti Ray, Niren Sengupta, Jai Jharotia and Krishnendu Porel. The show witnessed a huge draw and was well covered by the starving art media.

Devajyoti Ray's Work recently shown by Shrishti Gallery

Following the huge success of this show, Vadhera, Art Konsult and Art Musings put up some more thought provoking shows. With the coming of Art India Summit now, the art market is likely to get a further boost upwards.

The recession that had hit the Indian art market has driven home some basic facts that were hitherto being ignore by the Indian buyers and dealers. Firstly it has proved almost irreversibly that investing in big names is not always beneficial. So scared the market is now of big names that most of the galleries participating in the Art India Summit are not showcasing names like Bose Krishnamachari, Sanatan Dinda, TV Santosh, Chitra Ganesh, Manish Pushkale, etc. Two years back these names were projected as the best in Indian art. Today these names have become untouchable.

Artists like Jitish Kallat, Chintan Upadhyay and even Subodh Gupta are clearly not hot favourites either. The recession has taught the India buyer that one should invest in art only when the work is good.

The aggressive marketing supported by large money which was till date being practised by a host of galleries is now giving way to good old low profile shows. So called big galleries like Bodhi and sakshi are already closing doors. Delhi Art Gallery's cocktails parties are also on the way out. The galleries that have done best in recent past are those which have invested in talent and sold comparitively reasonably priced artworks of excellent quality. Gallery Art Eterne is one. The other name that is coming up these days is that if Cinnamon Art Gallery which specializes in works of Hussain and Anish Kapoor. The gallery is now opening an outlet in Mumbai. The other Gallery that has come up recently is Shrishti.

This Hyderabad based gallery was established ten years back and had popularised Vaikunthan when Vaikunthan was a nobody. It worked closely with artists like Laxma Goud, Sachin Jaltare and KC Patnaik. Its had given launching pad to many upcoming artists. Now the gallery is venturing into Delhi's upmarket art world with a host of shows starting with a solo show of artist Devajyoti Ray at Sridharani Gallery in October 2009.

Devajyoti Ray's art works are available in very limited quantity with only a few selected and reputed galleries in India like Siddhartha Tagore's Art Konsult, Sudhanshu Paliwal's Art Etrne and now Shrishti. The rare collection of Ray's works which will now be displayed by Shrishti is likely to be a major art even in the capital in the coming winter.

If this exhibition succeeds, we are likely to see a host of new galleries which had been dormant for a long time to take over the responsibility of generating the next boom in art world. We hope Shrishti Gallery will be one of these galleries.